Attorneys Stephen Korshak and Lee Karina Dani

What traits are important in a person named as power of attorney?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Many people think of an estate plan as how you can pass down assets to your loved ones after your death. However, there’s something else that you have to think about when you’re getting the estate plan together – making your wishes known in the event that you’re incapacitated due to illness or injury, and your end-of-life plans.

Crafting a comprehensive estate plan, not just a will, can help to ensure that you benefit from certain protections under particularly tough life circumstances. You can have the same person make financial and healthcare decisions for you in the event of your incapacity, or you can name a different person for each area of your well-being.

As you’re thinking about who you might want to name on each power of attorney designation, consider a few of the important traits necessary for this position.


Trustworthiness stands at the forefront of essential traits when someone is named in a power of attorney (POA). This individual will make critical decisions on your behalf, often during times of vulnerability. Trustworthiness ensures that the chosen agent will act in your best interests, adhere to your wishes and manage your affairs with integrity and honesty.

Financial savviness

A person named in a power of attorney may need to manage your financial affairs, making financial savviness a valuable trait. This includes understanding how to handle investments, real estate, taxes and day-to-day expenses. This is especially important in complex situations requiring strategic financial planning and management.

Strong communication skills

Effective communication is crucial for anyone named in a power of attorney. The agent must be able to clearly articulate decisions, understand your wishes, and communicate effectively with family members, financial institutions, and healthcare providers. Strong communication skills help avoid misunderstandings.

Emotional stability

The role of an agent under a power of attorney can be emotionally challenging. Emotional stability allows the agent to make reasoned, calm decisions in stressful or upsetting situations. This trait is particularly important when the agent must weigh the benefits and risks of medical treatments or navigate family disputes.


An often-overlooked but essential trait for someone named in a power of attorney is availability. The agent should be reasonably accessible to manage your affairs, make decisions and respond to emergencies. This means having the time and ability to engage with the necessary tasks and responsibilities associated with the role.

While powers of attorney designations are important, you also have to think about all the other estate components necessary to relay your wishes. Legal assistance can help you to get everything in order.